By Natalie Lakosil, Fort Huachuca Public Affairs OfficeJanuary 11, 2012
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (Jan. 10, 2012) -- Alaska-based engineers completed the first airborne operation into Fort Huachuca in more than a decade Jan. 6 in order to build a strip of roadway along the Mexican border.
The 30 combat engineers deployed from Alaska to construct 0.7 miles of border road and lookout roadways, along with the required road drainage systems, in support of the U.S. Border Patrol, said Joint Task Force North Public Affairs Officer Armando Carrasco.
"The mission site is located three miles west of the Nogales port of entry, along the U.S. and Mexico border. This is phase one of a three-phase project that will be completed in (fiscal year) 2012," said Carrasco.
The Soldiers jumped into Fort Huachuca's East Range from a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft that transported them from Alaska to Arizona, after completing a seven-hour flight. The paratroopers were all from the 84th Engineer Support Company, 6th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne), 2nd Engineer Brigade, based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
The airborne troops came to Fort Huachuca to execute a Joint Task Force North engineer mission in support of the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector.
Fort Huachuca provides training and logistical support to military units and government partners, as part of its support of the nation's homeland defense mission.
"Partnerships forged and the synergy created by working and training together strengthens the homeland defense mission," said Fort Huachuca Public Affairs Officer Angela Moncur.
As part of continuing inter-agency operations, JTF-N routinely deploys military units and assets to support the Border Patrol mission, officials said. The border patrol has the mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has a responsibility for securing and facilitating trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws.
"The Department of Defense partners constructing the new border access roads and drainage systems in the Nogales area is valued support to the Border Patrol mission," said Border Patrol's Tucson Sector public affairs officer, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Steven Passement.
"JTF North engineer support missions provide the Soldiers with great training opportunities that are directly related to their military duties, while netting the U.S. Border Patrol additional infrastructure that will enhance their agents' response times to any threats along border," Carrasco said.
Military engineer units from all services execute about 12 JTF North engineer support missions along the Southwest border annually. JTF North engineer missions offer military engineer units unique training opportunities in a variety of construction projects at multiple skill levels, Carrasco said.